Be part of Say Yes Cleveland’s positive impact on local students

Two women sit together at cafe

One year in, Say Yes Cleveland is already making a difference in the lives of local students. Say Yes is a program designed to remove the barriers that hold students back from successfully pursuing postsecondary education – either college or career training programs – by offering tuition gap closing scholarships and wraparound support services.

Since its launch in January 2019, the early results of Say Yes Cleveland are promising:

  • 44% of the 2019 graduating class have enrolled in postsecondary education – a 4% increase among Cleveland Metropolitan School District students and the first increase the district has seen since 2016.
  • More than 767 students have enrolled in Say Yes-eligible schools, and more than $636,000 has been paid out in scholarships for the Class of 2019 fall semester tuition at schools including Ohio State, Cleveland State, Miami, Tri-C, Case Western Reserve University, Tufts, Duke and more.

As these students pursue their postsecondary education, Say Yes continues to support their success by pairing them with a designated mentor who can provide crucial advice and guidance. The Say Yes Cleveland mentor program is administered by College Now Greater Cleveland, a national leader in college and career advising. The College Now mentoring program has proven successful in significantly raising student retention and graduation rates.

Mentors and mentees are connected via a unique online platform, exchanging messages twice per month and meeting in person three times per year. The mentor works with the mentee throughout their 2- or 4-year postsecondary academic career, helping them navigate their journey through school and their transition into the working world. College Now offers suggested talking points, hosts events for mentor-mentee pairs, and provides support to students and to pairs throughout the program. Becoming a Say Yes mentor is a great way to have a personal impact on the success of the Say Yes to Education initiative, by helping students not only get to college, but through college.

More than 1,400 mentors were recruited to be paired with 2019 graduates, but an additional 200 mentors are still needed for students graduating high school this spring. The application deadline for Say Yes mentors has been extended to April 1. Be part of Say Yes Cleveland’s positive impact and help a local student on the path to success by applying to become a mentor today!

To learn more about the program and apply to be a mentor, please visit College Now’s website. Contact Jabari Dorsey, College Now’s Mentoring Program Manager, with any questions at or 216.635.0268.